Welfare Recipients Want My Money (all $4.74 of it)

2 Aug

Bitch of the Moment:

By posting this, you're telling everyone, "I am an amazing douche nozzle!"

I prefer my tasteless ecards to contain typos and punctuation errors. It adds to the credibility.

Does this look familiar? Have these insulting, derogatory pieces of garbage been cluttering up your Facebook news feeds? When I don’t have anything of substance to say and I’m not busy wiping snot, cooking dinner that no one eats or wondering what I’ve stepped in, I too post ecards on my news feed. The difference is: mine are funny, this one is not. It’s mean. It’s belittling. It’s kicking those that are down. Even if its intent is to criticize only a select demographic on government assistance, it is hurtful to ALL those unfortunate enough to require help.

I am starting to avoid Facebook. The constant stream of hateful, nonfactual and racist sentiments that constantly invade my attempt to escape reality are honestly depressing me.  I am struggling to find good in those around me. I was clueless as to the number of my “friends” that are incapable of critical thinking. The sheer amount that will believe anything they come across because it feeds what they think they “know” is astonishing. Get your facts from credible sources, folks. Someecards.com, Fox News, CNN and the I_wanna_blow_a_teabagger.com ain’t it. And so help me, if you take any cues from Rush Limbaugh, make yourself an appointment ASAP because you’ve been eating lead paint or have suffered a brain injury.

I think it’s safe to say you all know which way my political dick sways. I’m as liberal as they come. I’m so far left, it’s amazing I don’t have sex with trees. I look within myself to determine what is right and just and that’s the path I take. My path is just a little more green than most, maybe even rainbow. Having said that, I do not berate those who do not share my views and opinions. You’ll never hear me say, “I hate Conservatives,” or “I hope all Republicans die.” (BTW, I’ve had several of my “friends” post statements such as those about Democrats and Liberals.) We all have the right to our opinions and to voice them. That’s what makes America great. What I have a problem with is when opinions are passed off as truth when they have absolutely no basis in fact. Political strategists selectively edit and twist information (or just plain make shit up) and feed it to the masses like mother’s milk because they know people will latch on to the tit and suck it dry. No one bothers to check where the mother’s milk comes from, however. Turns out, mother is “the man” and they’ve been sucking his dick for years. So THIS mother is going to lay down some facts for you. They’ll be hard to swallow at first, but it’s good for you. Better than the “milk” you’ve been getting from the man at any rate.

I will cite all my sources for those of you who doubt what I’m going to say here. I will not be getting my information from blogs, party-specific websites or someecards. http://www.IwannahaveObamasbabies.com will not be referenced either so have no fear. Here goes:

What is “Welfare”?

Do any of you know the definition of Welfare and what it entails? You do? Well, just for shits and giggles, I’m going to lay it out for you anyway:

Welfare: Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need. (http://oxforddictionaries.com)

What it entails:

*Unemployment (Unemployment Trust Fund, Unemployment Recovery efforts, Railroad & Federal Unemployment – this is mainly Federal unemployment extension benefits – not regular benefits provided at state level and covers all federal civilian and MILITARY unemployment benefits [http://www.policyalmanac.org/social_welfare/archive/unemployment_compensation.shtml])
*Food and Nutrition Assistance (SNAP, WIC, Commodity Assistance [food banks,] Child Nutrition Programs [school lunches,] Funds for Strengthening Markets, Income & Supply [something to do with the purchase of fresh fruits & vegetables for distribution to schools and service institutions by the Secretary of Agriculture]) If your kid gets free or reduced lunch at school, you are on “The Welfare.”
*Housing Assistance (1st Time Home Buyer’s tax credit, tenant-based and project-based rental assistance, grants for states that opt for housing projects in lieu of low-income housing credits [that’s fucked,] home investment partnership program, housing for the elderly) I now know I was on “The Welfare” when I received the 1st Time Home Buyer’s credit when I bought my first home.
*Earned Income, Making Work Pay, and Child Tax Credits (various tax credits for people who WORK or have EARNED INCOME, and/or have children)  Most everyone I know is on “The Welfare” since they receive one or more of these tax credits.
*Supplemental Security Income (support for low-income elderly, blind or disabled people which includes expenditures for administrative costs and RECOVERY efforts. Also covers survivor benefits http://www.ssa.govIf your spouse has died and you receive SSI benefits because you are raising their child, you are on “The Welfare.”
*Civilian Employee Retirement and Disability (part of Worker’s Comp) (just what it says – government employee retirement funds – but you don’t hear of folks bitching about this) 
*Child Care, Foster Care, and Adoption Support (Adoption tax credits, foster care payments, Federal share of child support payments, child care assistance programs, early education and afterschool programs) If your child attends Head Start, you are on “The Welfare.”
*Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (time limited assistance for needy families) I do not know anyone currently receiving TANF benefits, none that have told me anyway.
*Railroad Retirement and Additional Income Security (part of Worker’s Comp) (retirement pensions, social security equivalent and unemployment for rail workers, District of Columbia Federal Pensions, Black Lung Disability & disabled coal miners benefits – seriously WTF?) If you have Black Lung and receive benefits, you are on “The Welfare.” Again, WTF? Who the fuck has Black Lung these days?

(Breakout of how Income Tax is distributed from http://www.whitehouse.gov )

How many of you thought it was just free checks, food stamps and WIC? But guess what, it goes beyond that. Each one of those categories consists of MANY sub-categories, some of which I listed. How many you ask? Total, there are around 117. Don’t believe me? I’ll even throw the conservatives a bone. You can see all the sub-categories that make-up Welfare at http://www.usgovernmentspending.com. This is a pro-teabagger, conservative site but they have government budget and spending information that dates back to 1902. I do not take into account any numbers they list as estimates or guesstimates, and you shouldn’t either. If it’s not an actual statistic, it’s ignored.

So, of those numerous sub-categories, which one makes up what most people define as Welfare that robs hard-working Americans of their money to give to those that “refuse” to work? Here you go:

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families): Cash assistance program providing assistance to needy families. (Department of Health & Human Services) This is what a lot of people commonly think solely makes up Welfare. This does not include food stamps. (Food stamps will be covered in the next blog.)

  • How long can recipients draw assistance? Some people think you can sit back and collect cash as long as you want, living the high life on all that free money. FALSE. There are time restrictions. An adult can only draw funds for a total of five years in their lifetime, and that’s only if they meet requirements. (DHHS.gov)
  • What are the requirements? A family of four can only make up to $1,178 in gross monthly income (remember folks, that’s before Uncle Sam takes taxes and you pay premiums for whatever insurance benefits you may or probably don’t have.) There are also countable resource amount restrictions. CARS ARE NOT CONSIDERED COUNTABLE RESOURCES! More on that later in the food stamp blog. (DHHS.gov) Oh, just an FYI: If our needy family is a single parent household and is fortunate enough to collect child support, states can count that as unearned income and does factor into eligibility requirements. (TANF Ninth Annual Report to Congress)
  • How much will recipients get? The benefit standard for a family of four is $500 a month. (DHHS.gov) Math time. Yay! If your gross income is $1,178 a month, after a standard deduction rate of 25% is taken for insurance premiums (if they have benefits) and taxes, your take home amount will be around $884. Add in the possible $500 benefit and your needy family has a monthly income of $1,384. That’s $16,608 a year to support four people. I’m sure they’ll use that exorbitant amount of money to furnish their mansions.
  • Who are the recipients? There seems to be a running consensus among my “friends” that only African-Americans are on “The Welfare.” Why would I say that? Maybe it’s the thinly-veiled, racist sentiment shown in all those oh-so-funny ecards. I guess they could be implying the rims, Kools and 40’s were bought by Sissy Lynn from the mountains of West Virginia using our tax dollars…but I doubt it. Regardless, the consensus is FALSE. The Ninth TANF Annual Report to Congress (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/data-reports/index.htm) was released in May of this year for FY 2009. As of 2009, 33% of 1,726,560 families receiving TANF were African-American. 31% of those families were white. The number of African-American families utilizing TANF assistance has decreased every year since 2004, while the number of white families has increased. Here’s another fun fact: The African-American numbers include African-American and white bi-racial persons. The white numbers? Nothin’ but crackers. We wouldn’t want to sully our demographic by including half-breeds would we? Even with that information taken into account, I’m willing to bet that whitey has bypassed the African-American/bi-racial demographic since 2009 (we already have in SNAP recipients – info on that later.) We’ll find out next year when the Annual Report is released for FYE 2010.

Also, when you hear people wailing about all the good-for-nothings living it up on the taxpayer’s dime, it’s always referencing   someone at the grocery store dressed to the nines, with a Coach bag and the latest electronic gadget buying soda and doughnuts with food stamps or TANF money. You know who they don’t mention? The largest demographic receiving assistance from the government: children. The 1,726,560 families that made up TANF recipients in 2009 consisted of 4,041,344 people. 973,580 were adults and 3,067,764 were children. For the math-challenged, that’s 76%. What a bunch of lazy, little shits we have in America. Why don’t they pick themselves up by their bootstraps and become honest, tax-paying members of society like the rest of us? Isn’t there a sweatshop somewhere they can work at in order to support their families instead of wasting more of our tax dollars attending public school? We all know Welfare kids aren’t going to graduate high school anyway, right? If someone is going to post snide, demeaning commentary on Welfare recipients for the world to see, I want to see them ball up and post something in that vein. Let’s see how many “likes” they can get on that ecard – which I’m positive they would get many. At least you’d know who you can clean out of your friends list that week.  At the end of the day, you can infer all you want about the adults utilizing the TANF program even if you are completely full of shit. Whether you think it’s laziness, irresponsibility and/or greed that got the adults there – kids didn’t fucking ask to be born into a poor family. They didn’t make any financial or personal decisions that resulted in them requiring government assistance in order to have the bare essentials most of us take for granted. Toothpaste, diapers, clothes and shoes are luxuries to most of these kids. As a former child recipient of government assistance, I can state that as fact.

  • What are WE paying for TANF? “We” don’t care about those needy families, do we? What do “we” care about? ME! That’s who. So how much does it cost ME to “support” these lazy freeloaders? Spending for FYE 2012 is budgeted at $3.729 trillion (usgovernmentspending.com.) Of that astronomical figure, $17.2 billion is budgeted to be spent on TANF. That’s .46% of the total spending budget. Less than half of 1% of MY tax dollars helps ensure someone less fortunate than ME can keep their lights on or put gas in their cars so they can get to (or look for) the jobs everyone says they don’t have (or don’t want.) If you do nothing else with the information I’ve spent hours collecting for this blog, do this:
    • Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/2011-taxreceipt.  You can enter information from your last tax filing on this site and it will tell you where your tax dollars went. Or, you can do as I did and take your last pay stub and input your YTD tax withholding to see where your money would be allotted  this year. Wanna know what MY contribution to TANF is so far this year? I’ve got nothing to hide. So far, the big, bad, Socialist, Obama government has allotted $4.74 of my tax dollars to help those less fortunate than me. Well, fuck! I guess that means I’ll have to skip that grande, half-fat, no foam, caramel mochaccino this month so the 2 million+ needy families on TANF don’t freeze to death this winter. I’m so fucking oppressed. *side note: $53 of my money has gone to Research, Development, Weapons and Construction. Nice. Can’t wait for you all to see how much of your tax dollars are going to Defense and Pensions. It’s AWESOME.

We all know how bad it is out there these days. Things are getting better, not by leaps and bounds like we’d like but the mass layoffs have died down. The jobs, however, haven’t been raining down from heaven. People can’t find work. Most of the people affected by the Recession of 2008 where people like you and me. People with good jobs, a mortgage, 2 cars and kids. We weren’t rich but we were stable and happy. In the blink of an eye, people lost everything. First their paychecks, then their homes, then hope.  They didn’t give up and decide to live on government assistance. They looked for work, some are STILL looking for work. What about Taco Bell? Why can’t they go work at fucking Taco Bell? Because Taco Bell won’t fucking hire them. FedEx won’t hire them to drive a truck. Why? They’re overqualified. No one likes hiring folks they know aren’t going to stick around if they find a job in their field of expertise. Also, the 20 year-old manager at Taco Bell doesn’t like it when the help is smarter than he is. Might show him up and take his job. Also, if they were lucky enough to get hired on at Taco Bell, they’d still need (and would still qualify for) TANF benefits. You can’t support four people on $8.50 an hour. Ask me, I should know. I can regale you with childhood stories of sleeping in a car for more nights than I care to remember because we couldn’t afford a place to stay, not even a hotel.

My husband was laid off on February 20th in 2009. He had worked for the world’s largest retailer in IT for seven years, had a degree and was young. He should have had no problem finding a job right? It took four months. We are still recovering from the hole we fell in during that time. We were lucky. He did get a severance package, all of which was used to get us out from under our house we had to sell so we didn’t go into default. A lot of people laid off didn’t get severance packages. Still playing catch up, we decided last fall that I had to go back to work provided I could find a job that would cover the cost of daycare and still help pay the bills that were starting to overwhelm us again. I, too, worked for the world’s largest retailer as a contracts administrator and as a VP assistant. I should have easily found a secretarial job, data entry position, something. I applied everyday for three months. I only had three interviews that entire time. I was applying for receptionist jobs towards the end. When I did find work, it was a temporary position. No benefits, no long-term guarantees and not a whole lot of money. I was fortunate enough to get offered a permanent position and I’m thankful everyday for it. Others out there have not been as fortunate. One of my friends was laid off in California in February of 2009 as well. She worked in sales. Again, nothing too technical or specialized, so it should have been easy for her to find work. She was out of work for ten months. She didn’t find another job until she moved back to our home state.

Don’t make assumptions. You don’t know these people receiving assistance. You don’t know how they got to where they are or what they had BEFORE they required help from the government. The fact that someone drives something other than a piece of shit does not mean they are scamming the system. It could mean it’s a family member’s car or that they had a nice car before they lost their job, or their spouse died or they got divorced. Just because the girl buying groceries with an EBT card has an iPhone doesn’t mean she used her Welfare check to buy it. She could have been given that phone as a gift or got it as a hand-me-down. Every time I upgrade my phone, I give my old one away to someone who could use it and most times it’s a really nice phone. Don’t assume anything. Take the time to get to know some of these “freeloaders” and see if you really ‘know” anything at all.

Some people abuse the system. I won’t ever deny that. There’s always going to be people out there that take advantage of any situation. This isn’t happening with Welfare as often as some like to spew it is, but it does happen. If you know someone who is taking assistance under false pretenses, REPORT THEM. You wanna do something about your $4.74 being squandered? Do your part as a citizen and make a fucking phone call instead of bitching from your porch. I’ll do you a solid, here’s the number:  1-800-447-8477. That’s the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. Be part of the solution by doing something. Posting snarky ecards and Rush Limbaugh soundbites doesn’t make you part of the solution … I’m too nice to say what it really makes you.

That’s all for now. I really hope that some of you have learned at least one thing from all this information I have gathered. I know I learned a lot more than I expected to. Have questions or want more information on something specific? Leave ’em in the ol’ comments section. I’ve already started the food stamp blog. I should have it out next week. Hopefully, there will still be some of you around to read it.

Later Bitches!

Advertisements

7 Responses to “Welfare Recipients Want My Money (all $4.74 of it)”

  1. Amber August 3, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks for the helpful information. I am probably one of the softest hearted people around and truly want to help those in need, but even I have complained about paying for others to have a better life than me while I work my ass off and they sit on theirs. I honestly know several and they give a bad name to those who truly need help. I didn’t realize there was a number to call and report them. I will definitely take advantage of that! Once again, I love you to pieces for stating your mind and saying to he’ll with the consequences. I miss you!

  2. J&B August 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Fantastic. So much horseshit flying around because it’s easier to hit “share” or “fwd” than to actually know what the hell you’re spreading. Thank you for being brave and loud. Hope this gets around.

    • bitchinmommy August 3, 2012 at 12:14 am #

      Please feel free to “share”. LOL. Thank you for saying that. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive about the backlash that is sure to come from this post but it’s not in my nature to stay quiet. Please stop by anytime. 🙂

  3. Paul Bosworth August 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I read this twice and I appreciate your use of facts from valid sources. I also appreciate your defense of people that need social assistance, of which I was as a kid. My mother currently receives social security to offset the cost of my dad’s death but lost it for my brother because he turned 16. Our society already tells sixteen year old high school students to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get on their own and working. My parting suggestion? Purge yourself of the people that post on your wall that you find unchangeably ignorant. It will give your psyche a rest.

    • bitchinmommy August 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

      I appreciate your appreciation. 🙂 I know it would be easier (and drop my anxiety level tenfold) if I blocked or hid those posters that upset me, but I’m ever the optimist that I’ll reach ONE of them with logic, reason and facts. If I can open one mind to another way of thinking, all the anxiety will have paid off. I’m on a mission to civilize.

  4. crazycrawfish August 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Love it. Good work, mama!

    • bitchinmommy August 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      Thank you, thank you. It’s a bit windy but I tend to over explain, Thanks for stopping by! I’m checking out your blog tomorrow. I skimmed over a few of the posts and I definitely want to read more. Can’t wait!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: